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  • 16/12/2002
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From a business perspective, should we enter the eurozone in the near future?

Jeff Knight, Sun Bank

I think we should. There are plenty of pros and cons to joining, but if we are in Europe at all we should be properly in Europe. I am aware there are negative implications to joining, but conversations with industry people have led me to believe it would be for the best to join.

John Mawdsley, The Mortgage Partnership

No. The UK economy does not demand we join at the moment. We would lose control over our interest rate mechanisms, which is the principle control over the economy, and would have no flexibility to react on a national level. Look at Germany to see how being tied can cause problems.

Nick Baxter, Mortgage Promotions

I do not like the idea of losing control of UK interest rates, but like the idea of a single currency. I see advantages both in terms of cross-border selling and for business. But the answer would still be no. It is a shame we cannot have one without the other.

James Mayne, Britannic Money

Europe tends to operate on fixed rate mortgages, while we prefer variable rates. If we hand over the right to set rates, and it is forced up, the British could be more adversely affected than their European counterparts. Continental Europe is less vulnerable to rate changes. But with a significantly lower base rate in Europe, joining would be good as mortgages would become cheaper.

Charles Ansdell, Inter Alliance

No. Fundamentally there are massive economic problems throughout Europe. Countries are trying to re-stimulate their economies, have run out of space with their monetary policies, and cannot cut interest rates any further without deflation.

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